In my opinion, the most important system in the home is the plumbing system. If the heater is out, one can snuggle under blankets; if the cooling system goes out, one can use a fan or go swimming or shopping. However, if the plumbing has issues, all hell breaks loose! If the shower and sinks do not drain and the toilets can't be flushed, there's no fix it except for the right fix, right away.
The day before yesterday we noticed that when we flushed the toilet, the contents came up instead of going down; that is a problem. Grandpa has tried to clear the mainline with his plumbing snake several times; those of you who have never worked for a plumbing company, like I did for four months, may not know that the mainline runs down the house to the sewer or septic, and all the other drain lines connect to it. If the mainline doesn't drain, nothing drains. Anyway, grandpa could not fix the issue, so it was time to call in the big guns.
I like to look in the phone book for a plumber, because when you do not have anything to go on for a reference, one should go by the size of the ad. If the ad is gigantic, it means the company has a central call center and random, usually unqualified guys contracted out around the entire state. DO NOT go with these guys, it never works out. Trust me, I used to work for a company like that, and we had more complaints than I could care to relate. Anyway, I found a tiny little ad for these local guys, and they were the BEST! They were nice on the phone, even though I called at 7:30am, and they had someone out to my house by 8:30. Cool, no waiting. Better yet, when Chris (the plumber) arrived, I did not have to show him how to use his equipment, and after I showed him to the clean out, he assured me he knew what he was doing and I could go on with my day like he was not even there. Awesome. Two hours and $230 later, everything drains and flushes again. Nice.
Today Daddy is trying to put a new faucet on the bathroom sink. He is doing a great job, but it is not going to make me forget that we need an entirely new bathroom and that the shower is probably going to fall through the floor soon. Do you know that you can buy a decent shower at Home Depot for about $300, but we just gave that to the plumber, because the water must drain!